Ticks on the rise in Tennessee

Ticks on the rise in Tennessee (Image 1)

Vanderbilt University Medical Center said this year is setting up to be a bad one for ticks in Tennessee.

While Dr. Corey Slovis said that only one or two ticks in 100 carries disease, “If you have a bite from one of those ticks, you're the one who has the disease.”

Lyme disease is uncommon in the southeast, but Rocky Mountain spotted fever can occur and cases of spotless fever are more common.

If you're bitten by a tick, Dr. Slovis said you should seek medical attention if you develop fever, chills, a rash, or a stiff neck.

Tennessee tick season runs from early spring through the fall.

University of Tennessee entomologist Dr. Frank Hale said that most of the time, ticks are easy to avoid.

“Where you're going to run into ticks would be around your fence row, places that aren't mowed, higher grass, brushy areas,” he cautioned.

Cutting the grass is the best way to keep the parasites away from your home, but when you're in the woods, you're in tick country.

“Once we get out of here, we'll check our pants to make sure we don't have any ticks on us, because we got off the track, the path, here, and this is where you're going to come into contact with them,” Hale said.

Using bug spray with Deet will keep most ticks at bay, but something as simple as tucking your pants into your socks will help keep ticks off your legs.

Dr. Hale said light-colored pants like khakis will make spotting ticks much easier than blue jeans.

He also suggests that you check yourself for ticks each night if you've been outdoors.

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